Tuesday, December 18, 2012

So it goes

Last week after a couple of months of preparing a resume, testing, and interviewing, Thad was promoted to a sergeant position at the police department. This means no more juvenile detective, no more M-F (I say that loosely because that wasn't the reality with that job either, and back to life with a shift worker. (more on this in a bit)
He was sworn in last Friday. Kate had been sick all week, and for as nice as she looks in the photo, she was still quite miserable. The police chief spoke briefly, gave a brief bio on each officer (two were promoted to sergeant and one to lieutenant), and then the wives pinned the new badge on our spouses. You can guess who had issues pinning her spouse. Yes me.
I am so proud of Thad. The reality is, he couldn't see himself dealing with the crimes he was for another fifteen years. I still think he was the best man for that job, but you grow exhausted and jaded (more jaded) by hearing what horrible things happen to juveniles.
He started his new position last night. He is working 4pm-1am. Basically we don't see Thad now. This could last until March where he may move to the midnight shift, or there is a strong possibility he will stay on evenings indefinitely. How we are going to coordinate nightly activities for the kids and weekend travel for hockey, baseball, and dance is not clear to me. It will get done. For those who have asked, this is not a M-F position. It's five on and three off. I've been lucky that he has had a somewhat M-F schedule since Olivia was born. Two kids, many more activities, and lots of homework later, it will work out. My mother is my personal angel. She helps out with all the kids, driving places when I can't, and is a savior.
I have a job where many kids dislike cops. I get that. I never felt that way, but I certainly feared them. Like I tell my students though, "You wouldn't hate them if you had to call 911 and you had someone trying to break into your house, there was a crisis at school, or in any emergency." Both of our jobs, as of late, have proved to be potentially dangerous. It's a new and scary time, and I have no answers.
I will say that I LOATHE reading people on Facebook (why do I still have an account?!?!?) writing how guns are the problem, mental health is the problem, banning guns is ridiculous, we need prayer in schools and that's why this happens (what??), etc.
Seriously if there was one reason, you'd think we would have solved it by now. We can only do our best to teach our children right from wrong, to defend people who aren't being treated well, and hope that nothing terrible happens to them. That probably sounds lame, but I just don't know what to say.
What I can tell you is that highlight of my night last night (insert massive sarcasm) was when Olivia came down crying not only because Kate woke her up, BUT also woke her to tell her about the rampage in CT. Seriously??! Oh I was mad...fuming...
Yes my kids still drive me crazy. :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sweet Olivia

She has a plan should Thad (or I) become President of the United States. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

As of tomorrow...

...I will be the mother of a teenager. Good lord what is up with that?!

I have been reliving the day before I gave birth in my mind all day. I've been reminiscing. I've been wistful. Then I came across a box of pictures...lots of pictures that show proof of a) how young I was, b) how horrible my hair was prior to owning a flat iron, and c) how quickly time flies by.

Here are a few pictures I found. I didn't find any newborn photos of Ryan. They are tucked safely in scrapbooks, where I wrote every last detail of my pregnancy, labor, delivery, and his early life. As you can expect, those kinds of 'hobbies' ended once Olivia was born.
I had Thad scan a few photos, and as you can see....obviously he didn't get it quite right. I have no idea how to fix this, but click on them and see my cute, sweet, spunky little Ryan.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A favorite

See this picture at the top? This was taken over TEN years ago. It's of Kate and me. I was going to have you guess, but I really doubt few people are reading my blog anymore since I bailed for so long. Anyway I had a student who was such a good drawer that I asked her if she could draw something for me. I really don't remember her doing it, and I know for sure she wasn't even in art, but the second picture is what I was given.

Now granted she didn't really get my nose, chin, or jaw quite right, but she capture Kate to a "T." I look at this picture set every.single.day. I'm at work. It just dawned on me that I have never shared this beautiful piece of art with anyone in my family.

I miss my sweet Kate. She used to be so easy, so amiable, so soft spoken, and so gentle. Kate spends much of her time at home being creative (read making HUGE messes), doing hand stands and back bends (read thumping), and sassing back (read becoming a pre-teen).
But, every night and every morning, she still is the only child who, without fail says to me, "I love you mom."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I'm on a mission--Camping 2012

See? I really am on a mission to blog more. This August I did something I'd never done before, and in turn afforded my children an opportunity to try something they had never done....CAMP. Now if you know me (I mean really know me), I was raised by a father who taught me that roughing it was staying at a Holiday Inn. We took maybe two trips my entire life, and one was to Minneapolis. Yes I'm serious. 
We drove five hours to Silver Bay, MN, an hour northeast of Duluth, along Lake Superior. Our friends, two families and neighbors had this trip in the works, and had tried to talk us into it for a few months. When we realized that Ryan had no football, Thad could get work off, and that Bonnie was willing to let people lend us a tent, friends would provide the stuff to cook with...well how could I say no?
It was.....the best decision ever.

 Brady enjoyed using his flashlight to see the starts. Doesn't everyone stargaze that way?!
 We took a ski lift to the top of a spot in Lutsen. So beautiful. The kids loved it. Brady did not. Like not at all.
 At the top of the lift were bobsleds to ride down. That was the fun part. The kids went twice.
Well, most of the kids. Brady decided once was enough, so he and I stayed down and he hung out with his buddies and god parents.

Then we took a gondola to the top of another spot. The view was incredible. We had lunch...nothing to write about as far as lunch was concerned, but more fun exploring.
It baffles me that these girls have been part of one each others' lives since the older girls were two. I have pictures of little Lucy holding newborn Olivia in the hospital.
 These guys used to play all the time. Ryan is a year older, and they've grown apart, but they enjoyed being together.
 I love this picture. That is classic Brady...
 The next day we went to a few state parks and enjoyed hiking and waterfalls.

 I can't write enough about how wonderful Ryan was to have around. Okay yes right around this time he lost his cool with me over something, but he bounced back quickly.
I always worry about Ryan when we do this stuff. I expected he'd think this camping thing was lame, be bored, etc. He is a pretty private kid, and he doesn't show anyone much emotion.
I asked him a lot, and every time he said he was having fun. And boy did he take care of Brady. He climbed steep embankments with Brady on his hip. He taught him to throw rocks in the water. Ryan just takes such good care of Brady.
 And this is our family. It was not easy getting us all on that darn slippery rock, but we did it, again thanks to Ryan and Thad.
My pictures vanish from this point on because I was crossing a waterfall with Ryan, and I slipped on some rocks. My shoes went down stream, my purse was submerged, Brady was screaming, I was laughing, my family was laughing, and then Ryan held out his hand to help me. I can't convey how slippery it was.
But we made it. It wasn't until I got all the way across the water that I realized that a) My phone was in my soaking purse and b) it was too late to salvage, c) my connection to the "real world" was dead. Like deader than dead.
It was worth it. It was worth it to be soaking wet the rest of the day. It was worth feeling my socks squish in my shoes while we went from place to place.
It was all worth it.
Camping was worth it.
We have asked for a tent for Christmas.
My kids love, love, loved Disney World this summer. But I think that camping was equally, if not more, memorable.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I haven't been blogging--duh

Reading blogs is something that I love to do. I love to read about my friends, family, and people I don't know personally but feel a connection to. Sometimes I read posts that I don't agree with, but I do enjoy reading them.
This morning Brady and I were up early on a Saturday, and I was showing him pictures of him when he was a newborn--on my blog. I haven't taken the time (or been willing to spend the money sadly) to make him a baby album (or four) yet. I realized that he hasn't been blessed with a book to pour through the way the other kids have. I showed him what I looked like shortly before I was born. "Mommy you look fat!" Well, yes Brady I was a moose, and here's proof. I showed him pictures of his brother and sisters holding him, his baptism, well anything that is posted here.
It hit me that I used to do this for a reason, and that reason was my children. Then I began blogging to vent or reach out to others. I read blogs for that same reason, and each and every one of your blogs enriches my life.
So what happened?
I guess I got busy. Too busy to stop and reflect. Or maybe I was so busy reflecting within that I didn't want to publicize it. I'm not sure. I could make excuses, but there is no excuse.
I just sort of quit blogging.
But I want my kids to read this someday and know all the crazy things they did...I want them to know that they gave me something to laugh about or ponder regularly.
I'm going to try and make a comeback.
I'm going to share with you that Brady announced proudly in front of the Redbox that "I've seen this movie!" and I had to tell him, "Um no honey we haven't seen Pandora Double D or whatever it was called."
Or that he told me last week when I told him I loved him with all of my heart, "You don't have a heart mom."
Or that he called me a crap the other day when we was mad.
Or that he's obsessed with Peaches humping him. Yes I know. Not good.
I'm going to tell you that I'm trying to figure out how to get the girls to church & Sunday school tomorrow, get Kate to two different performances, miss Ryan's game in Fergus, and figure out where Brady will go.
Or that my daughter Kate is obsessed with me being an unfair and unkind mom if she doesn't get something every.single.time her siblings do.
Or that Ryan has practice at 6:30am which means I am getting up around 5:40 to get him there.
Or that Olivia cries at the drop of the hat and it drives me crazy, she still is a picky eater, and spelling doesn't come quite as easily to her as it did her big brother and sister.
I'm going to tell you that my 'baby' turns 13 in a few days and I can't believe it.

But for now I'm just going to say, I will try to post more. I love when all you do. And happy December 1!